The Mesh Helpline still hears from women who are having complications and just realized it is from the mesh. Most of these women have seen a lawyer ad on T.V which alerts them to realize they are not alone and that their doctors are giving them the run around. Other women are disenchanted with the T.V ad lawyer they hired or a local lawyer who has sent the case to another lawyer someplace else. There are some basic vaginal mesh guidelines:
Vaginal mesh complications include pain, leakage or incontinence or the bladder or bowel, parch bleeding, infection, pain during sexual intercourse, lower back pain, pain on one side of the body, abdominal pain and difficulty standing for long periods
You are not alone. Close to 400,000 women have vaginal mesh or bladder sling implants
A vaginal mesh comes in many varieties, made by many different manufufacturers. They can be called a sling, a transvaginal mesh, a TVT sling, a bladder sling, a surgical mesh, a vaginal patch and it is still a mesh and part of the Vaginal mesh lawsuts currently underway.
For the men: Sexual intercourse is indeed painful for your wife. She is not lying or making it up. But, with the right doctor there is hope of resuming a normal life. Many men are sueing with their spouse. A California husband just got an award for $500,000 for loss of intimacy in the relationship.
The mesh can be removed and your body repaired with sutures or another means. A urogynecologist is usually a mesh specialist although a GYN surgeon or urologist can remove the mesh. You must ask the doctors office if the doctor has ever removed a mesh and you must get a straight answer.
Physical therapy will not help the mesh and may be dangerous by pushing it into an organ. This is not a good idea. Estrogen creme will not necessarily help either. You must look into mesh removal.
The vaginal mesh lawsuits are currently underway. It is important to retain a lawyer, and the right lawyer, asap. Statutes of limitations are running out in some states. You will have to go to a doctor to get a statement that you have a mesh problem. If you rely on old medical records it may become harder to prove your case. The best situation is to have a statement in the record that mesh removal or alteration is needed and that you have a mesh issue.
Additional Important Information
Surgical mesh was designed in the 1950s to correct abdominal hernias. The woven material is placed below the skin to patch the abdominal hole and block intestines and other tissues from protruding through the abdominal wall.
Surgical mesh can be made of biological materials or synthetic materials like polypropylene, polytetrafluoroethylene, polyester fibers or stainless steel. The size, shape, thickness and flexibility vary based on the surgeon’s needs. Often, the mesh comes in a prepackaged kit with the necessary tools, to make the procedure easier.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that hundreds of thousands of hernia repair surgeries are performed each year — with and without surgical mesh — and patients typically recover quickly. However, the FDA has received reports of adverse reactions to the mesh, adhesions (where the loops of the intestines attach to each other or the mesh), and injury to organs, nerves or blood vessels.
Overall, the treatment of hernias with surgical mesh is considered successful, so doctors wanted to use it in other parts of the body that required additional support. In the 1970s, they began inserting surgical mesh abdominally to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). In 1996, the FDA approved the first mesh product for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The first mesh product for treatment of prolapse was approved in 2002.
Instead of inserting the mesh through abdominal incisions, however, surgeons have recently embraced the idea of implanting the mesh transvaginally (through the vagina). This choice has been disastrous for thousands of women, who have suffered severe complications such as organ perforation and erosion of the mesh. Even revision surgeries cannot always remove the mesh or correct the internal trauma.
Transvaginal Mesh and Pelvic Organ Prolapse
To treat pelvic organ prolapse, surgical mesh can be implanted at the time of a hysterectomy or as a separate surgery. When surgical mesh is inserted through the vagina, it is referred to as transvaginal mesh.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the bladder, top of the vagina, uterus, rectum or bowel has descended from its normal position. The condition is thought to be the result of weakened pelvic muscles, usually from pregnancy and childbirth. Of the 300,000 surgical procedures done to correct prolapse in 2010, 100,000 used mesh and 75,000 of those were completed transvaginally.
When transvaginal mesh is used to repair prolapse, the surgeon uses the woven material to create a hammock-like structure under the drooping organ or organs. Once in place, the mesh is anchored to muscles or ligaments by sutures or other devices. Over time, the patient’s tissues grow and fill in the pores of the mesh to keep it stable. The hammock, in turn, maintains the correct position of the affected organ.
To treat prolapse, transvaginal mesh is most commonly placed in these locations:
The anterior vaginal wall to correct a bladder prolapse.
The posterior vaginal wall to correct a rectal prolapse.
The top of the vagina to correct a uterine prolapse.
The most common and serious of the complications for patients is the erosion, or extrusion, of the mesh into nearby organs. This can lead to bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse and urinary problems. Revision surgeries may not fix the problem. And if the patient’s tissues have already grown through the mesh, removal may be impossible.
Transvaginal Mesh and Stress Urinary Incontinence
Surgical mesh can also be used to create a bladder sling that is positioned under the urethra and bladder neck and anchored on the sides. The bladder sling is designed to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which occurs when the bladder is stressed by an everyday activity, such as sneezing or laughing, and subsequently leaks urine. The sling keeps the urethra and bladder neck closed during normal activities, stopping the leakage. In 2010, nearly 260,000 surgeries were performed to correct SUI. Of those, 80 percent were performed using surgical mesh implanted transvaginally.
When a bladder sling is inserted through the vagina, it is known as transvaginal mesh. Typically, small abdominal incisions are also used.
Among the most popular bladder slings:
Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT): A polypropylene mesh tape is used under the urethra and is held in place by the patient’s body.
Transobturator tape (TOT): Less invasive than TVT, because there is no need to use a large needle when inserting it.
Mini-sling: Eliminates the need for abdominal incisions. A metallic inserter and a vaginal incision are used to place the mesh tape.
As with prolapse surgery, there have been widespread reports of serious complications after bladder sling surgery using transvaginal mesh. Many patients have prolonged difficulty urinating or they incur new symptoms of incontinence, specifically urgency. In addition, they run the risk of the slings eroding into nearby structures, organ perforation, infection at the surgery site and internal bleeding.
Transvaginal Mesh and the FDA
Between 2005 and 2007, the FDA received 1,000 reports of complications and injuries related to transvaginal mesh surgeries, including death. The FDA decided to begin studying the medical device in October 2008. The FDA reported that between 2008 and 2010, there were nearly 2,900 reports of injuries caused by transvaginal mesh.
By July 2011, the federal agency concluded in a public safety update that complications with the use of transvaginal mesh for treatment of prolapse are not rare and that mesh repairs are no more effective than non-mesh repairs for treating prolapse.
The FDA took its concern a step further in January 2012, stating that after studying years of scientific data and recommendations from the September 2011 Obstetrics-Gynecology Devices Panel meeting, it was considering reclassifying transvaginal mesh as a high-risk device. If that happens, mesh devices will be subjected to more rigorous testing, including clinical trials with humans.
In that same update, the FDA requested safety data from all surgical mesh manufacturers and ordered post-market studies from seven manufacturers of single-incision mini-slings for SUI and 33 manufacturers of surgical mesh for prolapse.
If you need help with your vaginal mesh call the Vaginal Mesh Helpline today.